Lukewarm Media Reception of Biden’s Big Speech

Politics - March 9, 2024


Both CNN and CBS were doubtful if Biden succeeded in his State of the Union adress. Even former Obama advisers pointed out that Biden was strongly confrontational in a speech where the president should try to rally the nation. A highlight was, however, according to most, when Sweden and the country’s prime minister were welcomed into NATO.

There were several conservative commentators who expected President Joe Biden to be hailed to the skies in the media after his State of the Union speech, if only he didn’t drop dead.

One of them was Matt Margolis who is a columnist at PJ Media. “But even the left-wing media could not deny the problems with the speech,” he writes.

For example, CBS White House correspondent Nancy Cordes was cautious and interpreted it as first and foremost designed to show that Joe Biden has the energy and stamina for another four years.

His mind seemed “quite” sharp

Even CNN, which is a big supporter of Biden, observed flaws. The host Jake Tapper observed that Biden’s presentation, his pronunciation, wasn’t as clear as it once was. But “his mind seemed pretty sharp,” said Tapper. To use the word “pretty sharp” is a bad rating when it comes from an admirer.

Another CNN contributor, John King, said he had never heard such a partisan and polarizing address to the nation. “It sounded like an election rally speech”. It was not a speech to Congress as is expected from the head of state of the United States who is supposed to lift what unites the country.

Extremely biased, not very statesmanlike

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell was also surprised at how incredibly biased the speech was. He marveled at Biden’s attack on the Supreme Court. “Something like this has never been done before.”

The former Obama advisor David Axelrod believes that the speech didn’t land well, at least not based on what he believes a State of the Union speech should achieve. “It may have landed well … with the core voters, but I’m not sure that applies to the undecided voters.” Partly because the speech was so critical of the other party, thus just bickering, partly because Biden bragged about the economy despite the fact that many voters have been worse off during his time as president, not least because of inflation.

Highlight – Sweden’s entry into NATO

Several media highlighted the part of the speech where Joe Biden welcomed Sweden’s Prime Minister as guest of honor to the podium and announced that earlier that day Sweden had become full members of NATO. “They know how to fight,” Biden said of Sweden and stated that “NATO has never been stronger than now.”

It was perhaps lucky that Biden did not try to say the name of the prime minister, it could have been wrong. Because one of the mistakes he did was when Biden would show his disgust for the killing of a young woman by a migrant, a case that received a lot of attention. Instead of saying her name, Laken Riley, he said—twice—Lincoln Riley. (I’ll be the first to admit that names are, oddly enough, one of the hardest things to manage on live broadcasts, but Biden had teleprompters for that and still failed.)

Joe Biden is fiercely polarizing

Many see Joe Biden as an old uncle and therefore intuitively believe that he is a kind old uncle. But Biden is one of the most partisan and polarizing politicians in modern American history. It was he who in 1987 politicized the election of new judges to the Supreme Court. He hurled reams of accusations at Ronald Reagan’s nominee, Robert Bork.

Biden cited political reasons why Bork was unfit, not, as tradition dictates, review the legal competence of judicial nominees. Bork withdrew his candidacy because he could not stand the smear campaign. Biden thus received a great deal of media publicity, and shortly afterwards he announced that he was running for president in 1988.

So, you could say that Biden personally attacked a judge, to get himself the publicity he hoped would make him president, more than 35 years ago.

Before Biden, judges almost always were approved by a large majority in the senate, after Biden there is often a political battle over those who are nominated and they are elected with a narrow majority. The institution that the founding fathers believed would hold the nation together was seriously damaged, a damage Joe Biden apparently wants to exacerbate by criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision from the podium.

Politicians like Biden make people turn to Trump

I want to argue that it is fake, tactician and creepy politicians like Joe Biden who have made voters turn to outsiders like Donald Trump. If there’s one thing Trump isn’t, it’s a fake politician. Trump is certainly rude, erratic and eccentric. But he is who he is. Doesn’t pretend to be something else.

He is a genuine badass, while Biden is a manipulative badass.

Politics in the 2020s is truly in crisis.